2017: 3 events that shook the trading world

2017 – surprise!

Are natural disasters in the top three?

Mother nature showed her power this year sending Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma across US territory and beyond, a massive earthquake to Mexico, monsoon flooding in Bangladesh. mudslides in Colombia and landslides in Sierra Leone. The human toll has been unfathomable and the markets didn’t like them either, though the US administration seems to think we don’t need to worry. But these weren’t the biggest events to hit the markets in 2017.

Bitcoin shock: a strong contender

December has brought a late contender to event of the year with the Bitcoin surge. Prompted by the cryptocurrency’s ascendency to two major futures exchanges in the U.S., investors flooded to buy Bitcoin though a few days after the launch prices looked like they were subsiding.

Sky-rocketing prices

Bitcoin reached a high of $19,375 on the Coinbase exchange on December 18th as trading launched on the giant CME exchange and its Chicago rival CboE Global Markets. The decision to list the currency legitimised Bitcoin and raised its profile enormously. Since the announcement was made, demand pushed the price through ceiling after ceiling and the media shouted frantic headlines warning potential investors about bubbles. At the time of writing, there has been no crash.

The problem with Bitcoin

The problem with Bitcoin for some is that it is outside the control of the existing authorities. Like the internet under net neutrality is equally accessible by all, Bitcoin is not the currency of one nation or even one region. It has no physical form and none of the established national or international authorities are in control of the supply. They don’t like that.

Bitcoin pros and cons

Bitcoin is limited by design to a maximum of 21 million coins. Supporters see it as a natural global successor to national physical currencies and exchange rates. Features of cryptocurrencies called blockchain will mean they can also securely replace other functions in banking and business so the potential is astronomical. Critics, including Singapore’s financial watchdog, warn that the lack of physical properties mean it is inherently valueless and investors will lose out when they come to withdraw their funds. Some say these critics are running scared.

Should everyone take Bitcoin seriously now?

The short answer is yes. In stark contrast to the doom and gloom of the threatened financial system, Ronnie Moas, the independent analyst who forecast this rise, now says he sees values reaching a meteoric $400,000 in 2018 saying the “mind-blogging supply and demand imbalance is what is going to drive the higher price.” He was right before; will he be right again? Either way, plenty are jumping on the bandwagon.

Brexit: the Brits want out

A review of market-moving events in 2017 has to include the Brexit tidal wave, which continues to punish GBP markets. Brexit is the snappy moniker bestowed by the British press on the British exit from the European Union decided by referendum in June 2016. 2017 has been a battle waged between varying factions in the UK government, who are justifiably concerned that washing their laundry in public puts them at a disadvantage in negotiations over the terms of the exit.

Europe, 20 June 2016
Brexit.
Markus Grolik/Cartoon Movement/Hollandse Hoogte

Who is responsible for Brexit?

In 2016, rampant propaganda, fervent canvassing and decidedly dodgy claims resulted in the United Kingdom agreeing to crash out of the thriving economic and political union that has blossomed since the 1970s. Why would one of the world’s biggest economies decide to commit economic suicide? Good question and it’s one many continue to scratch their heads over. The pound plummeted immediately sending imported product prices rocketing and the beleaguered currency has failed to yet make a full recovery over 18 months later.

What’s next for GBP?

The future for the British currency is unclear. A large part of its economy is funded by revenue from the City of London. However, many international banks are setting up subsidiaries in Frankfurt and other key European cities, all keen to become the new home of passporting. This key facility was located in the UK capital and allowed banks to work across Europe without needing authorisation in each individual country. It is highly unlikely passporting will continue to run from London when it leaves the Union and the banks are likely to cut many jobs and reduce their contribution to the economy in the UK from then on.

Will Brexit be calmer in 2018?

Political news around the exit negotiations are likely to impact both sterling and the Euro. Inside the Union, leaders will be keen to ensure Great Britain isn’t seen to get a good deal in order to deter other nations from making similar exit plans. It will be essential that countries who are in look better off than those who opt out. It’s looking cold outside the E.U and Britain will need to negotiate individual trade agreements with everyone. The deadline is 2019 so 2018 will be a rollercoaster ride through negotiations.

Trump

That word has so many meanings. It can be the winning card in a game. It can mean doing better than your rival. It can mean something altogether more foul-smelling connected to digestion. But this year Trump gained a new meaning as Donald became the 45th POTUS in an election that put the Brexit Leavers campaign to shame.

Sheneman Dec 2017

How did Donald Trump win?

Donald won by wooing the electorate that mattered in a battle against Washington insider, Hillary Clinton. While the rest of the world saw a privileged white man; a man with inherited money that he frittered away on poor business deals who was paying his way to the top spot on the Republican ticket, voters in key States believed the nationalist ‘America First’ propaganda and insular rhetoric pouring from his Twitter feed. Despite winning fewer votes than his rival, Donald won the White House. Look up the electoral college system if you’re keen to see how it’s rigged set up.

What did the markets think of Trump?

Trump revealed a change in attitude from the markets towards geopolitical risk. The shockwaves from the election were relatively minor. Although the rising value of safe haven gold suggests they’re not entirely keen.

Markets and politics

Since Trump was elected, the markets have learned to weather the Twitter spats between Kim and Trump, watched the military posturing across the east Asian region with a bucket of popcorn, ignored the implications of Russian interference in key Western democracies, and will see the year out analysing Trump’s ham-fisted diplomacy in Jerusalem and the U.N. with great interest. Interestingly, at no point have any of the indices tanked suggesting there may be a growing separation between geopolitics and market valuation. Or things haven’t got crazy enough to worry them yet.

2017 was characterised by massive geopolitical upheaval that didn’t always translate into market movement. But the biggest upset for the year was Bitcoin. Will other cryptocurrencies now gain value? Will the bubble burst or is BTC finding its true level? Let’s see in 2018.

 

Free market guide: 26th to 29th September

Whose is bigger?

Economic news and announcements cause financial markets to move a lot, and may provide some opportunities to trade. So, to help you to earn more with TIQL, we’re sharing this free guide to the markets and dates to watch this week.

Remember, you can earn some extra cash by inviting people to trade with TIQL. The very first time someone you invite makes a deposit of $5 of more, you will receive $1. Whoever you invite also gets $1 USD to trade with; you can’t get better than that! You can keep earning as we pay you a percentage every time your supporters trade with TIQL. Get all the details here.

Elections: Who won and what do the markets think?
The weekend’s big election winners were Merkel and English. But for the markets, it all depends on who you talk to.

Some pundits have highlighted that NZD has dropped from a week ago amid fears of weeks of coalition talks with New Zealand First led by Winston Peters. Their tiny 9 seat party has a disproportionate amount of power under the New Zealand system. Other analysts are brushing it off saying the re-election of English means stability for the country, which the markets are going to like.

For the Euro, there has a been a sigh of relief as Merkel holds on to power for a fourth term. Widely seen as the new leader of the free world and with no other European leaders stepping up to vie for the top spot, it’s what the currency and its economic zone needed. Far-right election gains have been a worry here too, but they’re lagging behind in third place.

Anything involving a vote by the general public can cause unexpected havoc as Brexit and Trump proved last year so markets will likely react positively as it seems like business as usual.

GBP: the big interest rate question
When sterling dived after last year’s shock Brexit announcement, the Bank cut interest rates to a record 0.25% but it finally looks like a rise is on the cards . The reason so many see a rate rise before the end of the year is that inflation is edging up to 3% despite stagnant wages and ey-watering levels of personal debt.

The Inflation Report Hearings (26th tbc) will be pounced on by market makers and traders alike as they try to price in their predictions. Keep an eye out for announcements. Current Account details (29th 8.30am GMT) will either have traders diving for their own Brexit or consolidating their GBP position.

NZD: Official Cash Rate
Many expect the Bank to keep things steady in the current climate, but some argue the weakening currency and gloomy outlook in housing and construction make a rise before the end of the quarter more certain. Standing at 1.75% many feel the exchange rate is going to be crucial for the future direction of the RBNZ Cash Rate (27th 8pm GMT).

NZD is a volatile currency that tends to react to global forces. Trump and Kim’s war of words will have cautious investors heading back to safer markets, while China’s economy is a hot topic of debate that could push the Kiwi dollar in a number of directions.

War: what is it good for?
The answer to this is obvious to most people. But not apparently Trump or Kim Jong Un who have amped up the verbal spat over the weekend making the threat of actual war loom large, especially over Japan. Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called a snap election. If things are going nuclear and he gets stuck in the middle, he doesn’t want to be in the hot seat.

The markets don’t usually take kindly to the idea of war, but latest figures suggest they’re not taking it seriously. Stock indices and USD markets usually recognise the consequence of war is brutal and widespread so their lack of reaction to the exchange of threats is strange. Surprisingly, safe haven gold isn’t on the up, and the Dow and S&P500 don’t seem fazed.

If things do kick off then the infrastructure damage can massively impact a nation’s short-term economic viability, costing citizens and governments billions. And this means debt as rebuilding efforts must often be financed with cheap capital. Interest rates are usually suppressed to keep capital costs down and this decreases the value of the currency. Don’t forget that the complete uncertainty of war itself impacts markets on a day-to-day basis as well as the longer-term economic outlook.

If you’re interested in how the latest threat of war could affect the currencies, commodities and markets you play, then Trump’s Twitter feed needs to be on your radar along with Reuters and, of course, your Tiql updates.

Here are the main news events to look out for this week:​

  • Tuesday 26th September
    14:00:00 GMT USD CB Consumer Confidence
    16:45:00 GMT USD Fed Chair Yellen Speaks
  • Wednesday 27th September
    12:30:00 GMT USD Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
    14:30:00 GMT USD Crude Oil Inventories
    15:45:00 GMT CAD BOC Gov Poloz Speaks
    20:00:00 GMT NZD Official Cash Rate
    20:00:00 GMT NZD RBNZ Rate Statement
  • Thursday 28th September
    06:35:00 GMT JPY BOJ Gov Kuroda Speaks
    08:15:00 GMT GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
    12:30:00 GMT USD Final GDP q/q
    12:30:00 GMT USD Unemployment Claims
  • Friday 29th September
    08:30:00 GMT GBP Current Account
    12:30:00 GMT CAD GDP m/m
    14:15:00 GMT EUR ECB President Draghi Speaks
    14:45:00 GMT GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks

Some Markets to Watch…

BTCUSD: Bitcoin is still caught in the range between $3500 and $4000. This market needs to clear $4100 to get some momentum behind it for the bulls. Any closes below $3500 and we may see a deeper correction to the recent low at $2980 to shake out the week longs.

GBPUSD: We are trading near a key resistance level and top of a parallel channel. A retrace here and the next key level for the bulls is 1.3250. News out this week could see this pair move.

Gold: The shiny metal has found support at the old broken resistance. Buyers have not come in strongly at this point so far; any daily closes below 1294 and we may see a deeper retracement to the 61.8 fib and chart structure around 1264.

Crude Oil: A symmetrical pattern may be playing out here which could see crude testing the 54/55 zone. We’ve broken through resistance and found some buyers above $50. Both $54 and $55 have strong supply candles and we may see the longs cover here and shorts get involved.

Whichever way you think these markets are going to go, you can trade these and other markets from as little as 1 cent with TIQL.

Markets can really move during news events; all TIQL trades come with guaranteed stops to always protect you from losing more than you have invested in a trade.

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War? Huh. What is it good for?

How Trump and Kim Jong Un should settle it

Absolutely nothing if you agree with Frankie and most sane people. Sometimes you have to wonder what goes through the minds of some of our world leaders. Trump and Kim Jong Un have amped up the war of words over the weekend making the threat of war loom large, especially over Japan. Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called a snap election. If things are going nuclear and he gets stuck in the middle, he doesn’t want to be in the hot seat.

The markets don’t usually take kindly to the idea of war looming, but latest figures suggest they’re not taking it seriously. Stock indices and USD markets usually think the consequence of war is brutal and widespread so their lack of reaction to the exchange of threats is strange. Surprisingly, gold isn’t on the up and the Dow and S&P500 don’t seem fazed.

If things do kick off then the infrastructure damage can massive impact a nation’s short-term economic viability, costing citizens and governments billions. And this means debt as rebuilding efforts must often be financed with cheap capital. Interest rates are usually suppressed to keep capital costs down and this decreases the value of the currency.  Don’t forget that the complete uncertainty of war itself impacts markets on a day-to-day basis as well as the longer-term economic outlook.

If you’re interested in how the latest threat of war could affect currencies, commodities and markets you play, then Trump’s Twitter feed needs to be on your radar along with Reuters and, of course, your Tiql updates.